Chevy K5 502 V8

Not a Jeep, but maybe of interest to a few people out there. This is our 1981 Chevrolet Blazer K5 which has been in our ownership for 12 years. Originally a 350 V8 with a manual transmission when we acquired it, we fitted it with a 6.2 V8 Turbo Diesel, upgraded Turbo 400 transmission & NP208 transfer case. The latest (& final!) engine is a new 502 (8.2 litre) V8 with Edelbrock alloy heads, intake & carburettor, h/duty Hedman Elite series headers, billet dizzy, new ancillaries etc etc. This engine was built to spec to give serious low rpm torque for towing.

It has a 6” suspension lift, 3” body lift, 39 x 18.50 Mickey T’s, AGR Rock Ram steering, braking upgrades, 4.10:1 axle ratios, 1350 series UJ’s and a host of other nice bits to keep everything together and the handling tight. The shiny bits, are polished 316 marine grade stainless steel as to be salt water resistant as we use it for towing and launching our boat. These parts were designed and fabricated by ourselves.  

Recovery winches manufactured by Superwinch. Front is a Husky 8500 worm gear drive, and rear, a low profile 9000 planetary gear drive with the solenoids mounted inside the vehicle to clear the tailgate. Mountings are integral with the custom-built bumper assemblies. Each has 100ft of 10mm cable. Camping in the New Forest, Hampshire.  

  A ‘dirty weekend’ at Mallory Park  

Fitting An Oil CoolerOur old Chevy truck ran high oil temperatures during summer months, towing or solo. We had occasionally experienced a detonation problem during pulling away with a load under certain conditions & during high ambient temperatures. I suspected that high under bonnet temperatures/intake air temperature combined with high oil temperatures were a contributing factor. I decided to reduce the under bonnet temperature therefore the intake air temp by wrapping the exhaust headers & then fit an oil cooler to reduce the oil temperature. I also found this gave the motor an additional oil capacity of approxiamatly 1.5 litres which cannot be a bad thing giving the oil longer to cool in the sump. In practice we found the oil temperature reduced by 15-20 degrees under similar conditions. The detonation problem has been eliminated without the need for adjustments & alterations to engine performance/driveability with which I am happy. 

New WheelsMore pictures to come, but for now here is a teaser of the new wheels!I was  sad to remove the alloy wheels as they were fitting to the era of the truck & in superb condition. However the 10″ wide rims were just not wide enough to accomodate the tyres causing the tyre walls to be pulled in giving the weight  an advantage over the tyre walls & allowing them to flex unacceptably. This did occasionally cause steerage on the rear end especially when towing a load. I therefore decided to fit the maximum 14″ wide rims to eliminate the problem by pulling the walls out/upright as handling is more important to us than looks. By choice I would have fitted Weld Racing forged alloy wheels but unfortunately following their take-over by American Racing they have ceased to produce these truck rims. I was left with a very limited choice of wheel in 14″ width. So these new painted black rims may not be a permanent fixture although the low maintenance is a nice prospect & they do look nicer on the Chevy than I imagined. The picture shows a clearance /fitment check prior to tyre mounting. They did look exceptionally wide! We will put-up more pictures when the truck is out & about.